There’s something so irresistible about a slice of cheesecake. The melt-in-your-mouth texture, the delightful flavors, and the cookie crust never fail to please a crowd. Sure, store-bought cakes can turn out great, but there’s nothing quite like plating and enjoying a decadent homemade cheesecake.
Recipe developer and food blogger Molly Madigan Pisula from Vanilla Bean Cuisine is serving up this delicious take on cheesecake we’re certain will become a new favorite in your home. Two words can describe it: Biscoff and ricotta. Smooth, creamy, and sweet is the experience to expect — so gear up for deliciousness!
Pisula notes that this lavish dessert is best baked early so it’s ready to serve. "I love that you can (and should!) make this cheesecake in advance, since it really helps to reduce your workload on the day of the party or gathering you’re serving it at," she says. "And, it really works for any time of day. It’s great for dessert after dinner, of course, but it’s also beautiful for a brunch or tea party!"
Gather the ingredients for baked ricotta cheesecake
First things first: You’ll want to make a list of the ingredients you’ll need to pick up at the grocery store. If you don’t have them on hand already, you’ll need to shop for unsalted butter, whole milk ricotta cheese (Pisula used Galbani® Whole Milk Ricotta in this recipe.), your favorite brand of cream cheese, granulated sugar, salt (You’ll only need a pinch!), vanilla extract, and eggs. Optionally, have fresh berries on hand with a light powdered sugar for dusting and an extra special presentation.
Make the cookie crust
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 Farenheit. To make the crust, start by putting the Biscoff Cookies into a food processor. Pisula also notes different cookie options you can try: "If you can’t find Biscoff, graham crackers are a fine alternative. Speculoos cookies or gingersnaps would work, too!"
Once they’re in the food processor, blend the cookies until they’re finely ground. Periodically stop and pulse to ensure all cookie clumps are broken up. Incorporate the softened butter, then process until the butter is well-blended. Be sure to scrape any excess cookie crumbs away from the sides and back into the food processor as needed.
No processor? No problem. Pisula notes, "You can also use a mixer instead of a food processor, if you’d prefer."
Flatten the crust into a pan setting
Wrap a nonstick 9-inch springform pan with two sheets of heavy aluminum foil so that pan is tightly covered from the bottom up to at least the middle of the sides. (Be sure not to skip this step!) Pisula notes, "If you don’t have a nonstick springform pan, butter and flour your pan before filling."
Pour the buttery crumbs from the food processor into the pan’s bed. Then, use the bottom of a glass to press down crumbs evenly. Once the cookie crumb crust setting is complete, set the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Rinse out the food processor base, lid, and blade, then dry them.
Blend the ricotta and cream cheese
Dollop the ricotta cheese and cream cheese to the clean food processor, then process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor, then add the sugar and salt. Process them together until everything is smooth.
As a former personal chef, Pisula is a true expert in quality. She advises home bakers, "Use only whole milk ricotta, not low fat ricotta, for the best texture." And if you want to provide flavored options for large gatherings, Pisula says, "You can use this cake as a base for other flavors, perhaps adding lemon or orange zest or a liquor like Grand Marnier. Almond or hazelnut extract would also work well."
Incorporate the remaining wet ingredients
Sprinkle in the vanilla extract, and crack in the eggs, two at a time, processing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the food processor, as necessary.
Does this recipe sound like a stretch of your culinary skills? Pisula says don’t worry, because this isn’t too difficult. "I’d rate this recipe at intermediate. It’s really not hard to make, but the fact that you need a food processor and then have to put it in a hot water bath puts it past beginner level I think," she says.
Pour the custard atop the cookie crust
Remove the springform pan from refrigerator, and pour the custard over the chilled cookie base. Separately, bring a large kettle of water to boil. Place the foil-wrapped pan into a large roasting pan. Slide the roasting pan into the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, around the foil-wrapped springform pan. Be mindful not to pour any water into the cheesecake batter. The water should fill about half the depth of the springform pan.
Bake the ricotta cheesecake, then let it chill
Bake the Biscoff ricotta cheesecake for 80 to 90 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. The cheesecake should be just barely jiggly. Pisula notes, "If the top of the cake begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil after 45 minutes."
Once the baking time is up, remove the roasting pan from the oven. Unwrap the springform pan, and place it onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool until it has just a tad bit of warmth, then move the pan into refrigerator, and chill for at least six hours, and up to 24 hours.
Serve, and enjoy
Pisula let us in on how to shape the perfect cheesecake. "The secret to unmolding the cheesecake is to cut around the edge of the pan (all the way to the bottom of the cake) after the cake has cooled for five minutes or so after you take it out of the oven," she says.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cheesecake using a fine-mesh sieve before serving, and top your masterpiece with fresh berries, if desired. For an alternate topping idea, Pisula notes, "You can also top the cake with jam. (Heat in microwave until it’s easy to spread over the top of the cake!)"
After you hand-craft this elegant dessert, take a moment to celebrate your work! We know your family and guests will love this. They may return asking for more!
- 8 ounces Biscoff Cookies
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft or melted
- 28 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- powdered sugar, for topping
- fresh berries, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- To make the crust, start by putting the Biscoff Cookies into a food processor. Blend until finely ground, stopping and pulsing a few times to make sure any big pieces of cookie are broken up.
- Add the butter, then process until the butter is well-incorporated, scraping down the sides of the food processor, if necessary.
- Wrap a nonstick 9-inch springform pan with 2 sheets of heavy aluminum foil so that pan is tightly covered from the bottom up to at least the middle of the sides.
- Pour the buttery crumbs into the bottom of the pan, and use the bottom of a glass to press down the crumbs evenly.
- Put the pan into the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
- Rinse out the food processor base, lid, and blade, then dry.
- Add the ricotta cheese and cream cheese to the food processor, then process until smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor, then add the sugar and salt. Process until smooth.
- Add the vanilla and the eggs, 2 at a time, processing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as necessary.
- Remove the springform pan from the refrigerator, and pour the custard over the chilled cookie base.
- Bring a large kettle of water to boil.
- Place the foil-wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan, then place the roasting pan into the oven.
- Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, careful not to pour any into the cheesecake batter. The water should go almost halfway up the side of the springform pan.
- Bake for 80 to 90 minutes, until the top is lightly browned, and the cheesecake is just barely jiggly.
- Take the roasting pan out of the oven, then remove the springform pan, and place on a cooling rack.
- Run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake (between the cake and side of pan) to reduce cracking as the cake cools.
- Let the cake cool on a rack until just warm.
- Then, move the pan into the refrigerator, and chill for at least 6 hours, and up to 24 hours.
- Unmold the cheesecake.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top using a fine-mesh sieve before serving. Top with berries, if desired.